**InmanNews.com features a weekly column written by Barry Stone that I always enjoy reading. Barry began his career in 1969 overseeing and partaking in the building and design aspects of residential construction projects. During the past fourteen years, Barry has inspected close to 7,000 homes, hotels, shopping centers and other commercial buildings, establishing a firm reputation as the pre-eminent property inspector and an expert in the field of building construction.**
DEAR BARRY: We live in a condo with foundation problems. Repairs were supposedly done before we bought the unit, but these were not done correctly. Now we have cracked walls and some doors that do not fit.
The homeowners association (HOA) refuses to make repairs. (Association representatives) say the process could cause interior damage to the adjoining condos, and this would not be for the “greater good.”
Is there anything we can do, short of hiring an attorney and having an expensive legal battle? –Amy
DEAR AMY: The choice to wage a legal battle or to find a reasonable solution depends on a willingness to be reasonable. The people on the board of the HOA should accept their responsibility to repair all exterior defects, including foundation problems. Their “logic” in denying this obligation could be applied to any exterior repairs they might choose to avoid.
As far as “greater good” is concerned, structural integrity affects the reputation of the property overall, and this serves the greater good of all owners.
As for “interior damage” to other condos, it is the responsibility of a competent building contractor to conduct foundation repairs in ways that minimize such damage. If unintended damage should occur in the course of the project, interior repairs should be included in the scope of the work.
If the HOA will not accept this responsibility, an attorney may be needed to convince them.